The Title X Family Planning program was enacted in 1970 and is the only federal grant program dedicated to providing Americans with comprehensive family planning and related preventative health services. According to the United States Department of Health, here are the facts:
As of 2011, Title X has funded the following:
Clients served: Title X-funded centers (such as Planned Parenthood) have served approximately FIVE MILLION CLIENTS. Of those clients, 92% were women and 8% were men.
Contraceptive care: Title X family planning centers help to avert an estimated one million unintended pregnancies.
Screening for sexually transmitted infections. More than 2.5 million clients (2,287,270 women and 245,326 men) were tested for chlamydia; 2.7 million for gonorrhea (2,470,645 women and 258,933 men). Nearly 750,000 clients were tested for syphilis (608,224 women and 135,557 men).
HIV testing. Approximately 1.3 million HIV tests were provided to female and male clients.
Cervical cancer screening. More than 1.5 million screenings were performed in Title X service sites. About 15% of these tests had a result indicating a precancerous or cancerous condition needing further evaluation or possible treatment, including 1% that indicated the presence of a more serious condition.
Underserved communities. 91% of clients had incomes at or below 250% of the federal poverty level.
People of all races and ethnicities. 57% of clients self-identiﬁed as white, 20% as black, 3% as Asian, 1% each as Native Hawaiian/Paciﬁc Islander or American Indian/Alaska Native and 5% as multiracial. 29% of all races self-identiﬁed as Hispanic.
Age. The majority of clients were in their 20s (51%). 28% were age 30 or over and 21% were 19 and under.
Title X is a vital community resource for women and men, but has, and continues to be, threatened by the U.S. Senate for a serious reduction in funding. As the numbers show, Title X makes a huge difference in the way women, and their partners/family, plan for the future. According to the Guttmacher Institute, “the Title X network met one-fifth of the U.S. women’s need for publicly funded family planning services.”
Family planning is a human right — women and their partners deserve the autonomy of deciding WHEN to have children. As mentioned before, the use of proper contraceptive care helped to avert one million unintended pregnancies. The right to choose means the right to have proper, medically accurate, and affordable family planning resources. Without the funding for family planning services, such as contraceptive care provided by these medically funded clinics, unintended pregnancy, abortion, and teen pregnancy would have been drastically higher.
The attack on family planning centers, such as Planned Parenthood, are an attack on women’s constitutional right to choose — the constitutional right to decided when to have a family.
An important reason why women choose these specific family planning centers is because they feel respected and know that the services being delivered are confidential. The Title X program has national policies and medical standards of care for the method of delivery for their services — meaning that there are ways to ensure that the care is voluntary, confidential, affordable, and effective.
Title X requires its clients receive quality care regardless of their ability to pay.
Without these vital program, many women would lose their fundamental right to choose. By supporting young and low-income women plan when to have families, the program is supporting these women’s well-being and helping to empower these women educationally and professionally. Family planning is essential in women’s lives and is a basic human right – Title X should be held in high regard and expanded, not defunded.
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Written by Jenna Stammen
Jenna Stammen is brand new the the NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota team! She has been hired as the new Office and Communications Coordinator. She graduated from St. Cloud State University in 2013 with a BA in Women’s Studies and Gerontology. She is excited about her new role here at NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota and is fiercely interested in women’s reproductive justice and public health. In her free time she enjoys a good Netflix binge and hanging out with her dog, a corgi named Moose.